An open letter to Colby regarding open source

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An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby rootusr » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:37 am

Dear Colby,

First off, don't get me wrong, I think that what you've accomplished with ECUFlash is amazing. You have spent countless hours creating an open source tool that you have released to the world for free. But that's where the problem lies. Free beer is great, but show someone how you made it, and they can make their own, perhaps even improve on your method, not to mention share-and-share-alike. ECUFlash is (or was) listed as an open source project for years. I remember being very excited when I saw that it was open source, "Great! Now I can finally figure out how my car's ECU really works on the inside!". But sadly, that was not the case, and has never (again, to my knowledge) been the case. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but you lied to us. There are so many developers out here that would love to help with ECUFlash, and you've said time and time again, "Real soon now...", but you never delivered. Why? Your excuses in the past have been valid, if not weak, but they quickly become invalid: "I just need to clean up the code a bit". And now, the most recent nail in the coffin, your site no-longer says that ECUFlash is an open source project. Not that it ever really was; requests for the source code were always denied. Now I know that you have every right to change the license of your code, after all, it IS YOUR code. But at least be honest, if ECUFlash ever was an open source project, show us the source, let us see how it works, let us help make it better... And if instead it is indeed the case that you never intended for anyone to see the source code, and that you led us under false pretenses, then I have to say quite honestly, "You Suck!".

I don't care what you do with ECUFlash from here-on-out. In fact, as long as it remains free I'll probably still use it. I don't care if it stays a binary blob or if you do release the source code (as your site no longer says it's open source, I highly doubt the current code will ever see the light of day). All I want is for you to stay true to your word and give us the source for the project you once proudly labeled as "open source". It's only fair (besides, you had no problem honoring the open-ness of the openport design!).

--Andrew
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby radsdau » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:13 pm

Andrew:

To smother Colby with thanks for making a great product- for free- then to proclaim 'You Suck' is pretty harsh. I don't know Colby's reason for the about face in this project, but obviously at some point the plan changed. I don't consider him to have 'lied', although it is frustrating for people who were expecting to get the source code (for whatever reason they needed it) to be let down.

IMO, Colby's spent say too long on this project to give it out for free, even if that was the original plan. He deserves every cent he makes from it. If I were him, I probably would have done the same. He's changed the face of ECU Tuning/Reflashing worldwide, which is an incredible task.

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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby Tgui » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:48 pm

radsdau wrote:Andrew:

To smother Colby with thanks for making a great product- for free- then to proclaim 'You Suck' is pretty harsh. I don't know Colby's reason for the about face in this project, but obviously at some point the plan changed. I don't consider him to have 'lied', although it is frustrating for people who were expecting to get the source code (for whatever reason they needed it) to be let down.

IMO, Colby's spent say too long on this project to give it out for free, even if that was the original plan. He deserves every cent he makes from it. If I were him, I probably would have done the same. He's changed the face of ECU Tuning/Reflashing worldwide, which is an incredible task.

radsdau


I see Andrews point.

You do realize that though Colby was the main drive and coder, there were countless others on this forum (and others) that provided time, information and research that enabled this project. Not providing the source as promised is a slap in their faces. I've not read this entire forum but I would guess that he benefited from other peoples knowledge of ECU flashing and his project most certainly benefited from the reverse engineering (much by TeaCups) of ROMs that without, would either have severely delayed his program or rendered useless.

He deserves to recognize those people by following through with his promise.

Then again, this is conjecture as no where on this website does Colby state "closed source". But, in all the time I've watched this project progress, I've never seen an open release of his code to this community in light of the Open Source claims used to draw people here. False pretenses?
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby Justin 05 STi » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:22 pm

I have read (in other words, not verified) the source code for an early version of ECUFlash (1.28?) is available via ECUExplorer:
http://code.google.com/p/ecuexplorer/

It doesn't address the issues about Colby's "open source" misnomer, but maybe it'd offer a little help for those wanting the source code?
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby evonut270 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:50 pm

i can see the points in this but if colby decides to keep the source code then surely its his to decide, after all he has done most of the work.also why give out a the code so that someone else can call it there own and charge for the privelidge.if its a problem to some people there is a simple solution. make your own program!
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby todd-w » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:54 pm

evonut270 wrote: if its a problem to some people there is a simple solution. make your own program!



In a nutshell :D


@ OP nice introduction :(
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby evonut270 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:04 am

todd-w wrote:
evonut270 wrote: if its a problem to some people there is a simple solution. make your own program!



In a nutshell :D


@ OP nice introduction :(
what makes it worse is the OP has been a member on here since 2007 and this is his first post?a great help to the cause it seems. :roll:
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby todd-w » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:58 am

maybe hes still testing :P
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby chuckdez » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:52 pm

I purchased the 2.0 hardware for about $200 over a year ago based on the features, SD card logging, etc... The features that are not listed on the product now. I own the 1.2 hardware and a 2005 STI, so the 2.0 upgrade wasn't a necessity to flash my car.

Over one year later I'm feeling a little ripped off at this point.

I wish it would be released to open source or some further development with the software.
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby radsdau » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:01 pm

chuckdez wrote:I purchased the 2.0 hardware for about $200 over a year ago based on the features, SD card logging, etc... The features that are not listed on the product now.

Feature implemented: http://forums.openecu.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=4319
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby cboles » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:57 pm

Andrew-

I did release the source code for earlier versions of EcuFlash as well as schematics of the Openport 1.3 design. Both were released with explicit notes / licensing information that they were for non-commercial use only. All of the EcuFlash code, kernels and hardware design were 100% my work, and I wanted to be able to continue working on the project through the support of cables sales and other software licensing opportunities. Unfortunately, one result of that was that both the hardware and software have been subsequently copied wholesale and included in other commercial ventures. Frankly, I don't want to waste my time or energy fighting fruitless legal battles in foreign countries.

That, combined with the fact that I also now use EcuFlash on other commercial ventures means that source code releases are unlikely, unless I decide to retire from this business and would like to see the project live on. The same goes for the OpenPort 2.0 firmware and hardware design, which I have spent a considerable amount of time developing. Of course there is the fact that I enjoy programming on my own too :)

What is very "open" about EcuFlash is that it allows you to view entire ROMs, has an open format for the creation of definitions and standalone logging, and an industry-standard open communications protocol API (J2534) - none of these are present in any commercial tuning solutions that I know of. I think these aspects have been key in allowing a much greater number of eyeballs to start looking at all of this ECU code and figuring out how it works.

The definitions of course are the essential crown jewel of EcuFlash / RomRaider / etc. where the community deserves all of the credit in terms of crowd-sourcing this work, although in reality a smaller group people worked very hard to do a large fraction of it. I have given money to some of those people, but most have good paying jobs and are doing it as a labor of love. Some (e.g. merchgod) have moved on to working for commercial tuning companies, and I certainly cannot blame them (although I wish I could have had the opportunity to hire them first).

You have not seen many releases from me lately, but I can assure you that I have been working very hard on bringing support to new cars, adding integrated logging to EcuFlash, and making the Openport 2.0 firmware and hardware the best it can be. In the last few years I have worked on nothing else - it's been fun and interesting, but also taxing on my health, family life, and the amount of time I actually get to drive and work on cars. :(

rootusr wrote:Dear Colby,

First off, don't get me wrong, I think that what you've accomplished with ECUFlash is amazing. You have spent countless hours creating an open source tool that you have released to the world for free. But that's where the problem lies. Free beer is great, but show someone how you made it, and they can make their own, perhaps even improve on your method, not to mention share-and-share-alike. ECUFlash is (or was) listed as an open source project for years. I remember being very excited when I saw that it was open source, "Great! Now I can finally figure out how my car's ECU really works on the inside!". But sadly, that was not the case, and has never (again, to my knowledge) been the case. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but you lied to us. There are so many developers out here that would love to help with ECUFlash, and you've said time and time again, "Real soon now...", but you never delivered. Why? Your excuses in the past have been valid, if not weak, but they quickly become invalid: "I just need to clean up the code a bit". And now, the most recent nail in the coffin, your site no-longer says that ECUFlash is an open source project. Not that it ever really was; requests for the source code were always denied. Now I know that you have every right to change the license of your code, after all, it IS YOUR code. But at least be honest, if ECUFlash ever was an open source project, show us the source, let us see how it works, let us help make it better... And if instead it is indeed the case that you never intended for anyone to see the source code, and that you led us under false pretenses, then I have to say quite honestly, "You Suck!".

I don't care what you do with ECUFlash from here-on-out. In fact, as long as it remains free I'll probably still use it. I don't care if it stays a binary blob or if you do release the source code (as your site no longer says it's open source, I highly doubt the current code will ever see the light of day). All I want is for you to stay true to your word and give us the source for the project you once proudly labeled as "open source". It's only fair (besides, you had no problem honoring the open-ness of the openport design!).

--Andrew
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby chuckdez » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:00 am

radsdau wrote:
chuckdez wrote:I purchased the 2.0 hardware for about $200 over a year ago based on the features, SD card logging, etc... The features that are not listed on the product now.

Feature implemented: http://forums.openecu.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=4319

I was unaware of the beta version as I was checking the ecuflash download page frequently for new revisions.

http://www.openecu.org/index.php?title=EcuFlash
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Re: An open letter to Colby regarding open source

Postby cboles » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:11 pm

Thanks for reminding me - I have all of those pages redirecting now.

chuckdez wrote:
radsdau wrote:
chuckdez wrote:I purchased the 2.0 hardware for about $200 over a year ago based on the features, SD card logging, etc... The features that are not listed on the product now.

Feature implemented: http://forums.openecu.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=4319

I was unaware of the beta version as I was checking the ecuflash download page frequently for new revisions.

http://www.openecu.org/index.php?title=EcuFlash
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